Fargo teacher scammed out of $15,000 comes out of retirement to teach again – InForum


WEST FARGO — Angie Olson has spent decades teaching thousands of children in the area, and she is still at it. At 78 years old, she is “right at home” in the classroom.

Stepping into one of Freedom Elementary School’s first grade classrooms, it is easy to see why Mrs. Olson’s room is a fan favorite.

Olson’s dream of becoming a teacher can be traced back to her family’s farm near Brampton. Olson came from a family of 14, and she loved and learned from her teacher, Presentation Sister Olivia.

“She was a teacher as a nun, and a couple of my sisters were nuns, so I said, ‘Maybe I want to be a nun,” Olson said.

Olson even spent five years at the Hankinson convent contemplating becoming a nun like her two sisters. But instead, for more than 40 years, she has taught thousands of kids in Catholic schools in the community. Her teaching career spans decades.

“When I get into a classroom, it’s like I’m alive,” she said.

After her retirement in 2015, she got bored, briefly became a school cook, and became a substitute teacher for Fargo schools.

Then an internet scammer robbed her of $15,000. It was half of her retirement savings.

“I struggle with getting scammed,” Olson said. “I have to accept it happened to me, I fell for it, so just be careful.”

To earn money in retirement, she took on substitute teaching jobs. This year, she got a dream job teaching full time at Freedom Elementary.

“The first thing that she does is she builds connection with each student, and at the end of the day — even on really hard days — she gives me a hug and she’ll say, ‘I was meant to be here. These kids needed me,’ and that speaks to Angie,” said Freedom Elementary Principal Kimmy Milligan.

Because she spent years as a parochial school teacher, she has no pension. At 78, she hopes to scale back and enjoy her golden years after spending her whole life teaching and helping others.

Friends and family

have started a GoFundMe

to help restore money the scammer stole.

“It means a lot,” Olson said.

Kevin Wallevand has been a reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Reach Kevin at kwallevand@wday.com or 701-241-5317


Read More: Fargo teacher scammed out of $15,000 comes out of retirement to teach again – InForum

2024-02-22 00:59:14

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